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  • tibetan silver

    Hi, I've been making some pendants using silver plated pewter based dragonfly wing beads. I've bought some on ebay which are much cheaper, but are tibetan silver rather than silver plate (I bought them thinking they were silver plate and realised after they arrived that they were tibetan silver).

    Does anyone know if tibetan silver contains lead? I'm a bit concerned about using it in my designs.

    thanks,
    Sadie.
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  • #2
    tibetan silver

    Just checked through on a search for previous threads on this subject and it seems tibetan silver can be dodgy stuff ~ nickel and lead content.

    Serves me right for trying to go for the cheaper option ~ didn't buy many though.
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    • #3
      Hi Sadie,

      Tibetan Silver is manufactured in two ways.

      The original version contains both lead and nickel, however it is also made for export for the European market with the lead and nickel taken out so that it is complient with EU regs.

      So the seller you bought from should be selling the type which complies. I'd suggest just checking with them if it's not already listed in their info.

      Do be more careful if buying from a non European company as they may not be aware of our laws.

      Debbie
      www.beadservice.net
      On-line bead supplier and bead lover

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      • #4
        I thought using lead was only an issue with tableware anyway... Or does it affect the skin in some way?
        Also is tibetan silver a fancy name for Pewter?? It seems quite a similar metal....
        http://www.terrilowedesign.co.uk
        http://www.twitter.com/Hello_TerriLowe
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        • #5
          Terry, you are correct there is no reason why lead cannot be present in findings in the UK, but more and more people are picking up on a law that is present for California in the USA and mixing it up with our EU nickel complient law.

          As you rightly imply, lead is only dangerous if ingested or inhaled in some industrial applications.

          However, you tend to find if the manufacturer is extracting the nickel they will also do so with the lead as well, which enables them to export it to more countries.

          Debbie
          www.beadservice.net
          On-line bead supplier and bead lover

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          • #6
            Thanks Debbie. I've contacted the seller and I'm waiting to hear back from them.

            Alot of the tibetan silver on ebay is imported from China and the sellers split up the bigger packs they can buy (on ebay) and sell them off.

            Some of the China based sellers say it's nickel free, but....??

            As I suffer from a metal allergy myself (I break out in weeping sores if I have prolonged contact with some metals ~ sorry), I even have to buy special glasses and can no longer wear any earrings at all; I do have to be careful.

            The seller I bought from (UK based) I chose because it wasn't obvious they were tibetan silver and were listed as silver plated which, as you say, is usually OK.

            Is it the nickel that's more of a worry than the lead?
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            • #7
              Fashion Accessory!

              Thanks for the infomation, I do love tibetan jewel and fond of some jewelry site and I came across website called as INNA which has beautiful collection of beaded bracelets, bags, cuffs, belts and artwork. Just go through www innanyc com

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              • #8
                ebay seller didn't know anything about nickel or lead or any other metal in the tibetan silver.

                loads of makers seem to be happy to use it, sell it and recommend it without knowing the nickel content or any UK legislation about nickel.

                Seems I'm just worrying over nothing.
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                • #9
                  Hi

                  I would be careful stocking and making jewellery out of something that you aren't totally certain of, as it will be your responsibility if you are selling it.

                  I don't actually know much about 'tibetan silver' at all so I can't comment on what metals it actually contains. But if you are making jewellery and selling it, it is your responsibility to be certain of what metals you are using and that they comply with UK laws and are described properly. From what I understand it only contains a small percentage of silver - which makes me wonder whether it even ok to call it 'tibetan silver' if it is not hallmarkable quality silver.

                  I wouldn't say you are worrying over nothing as you will be liable even if you don't know that the goods are wrongly described.

                  I was rather intriqued having read this thread about what Tibetan silver actually is and what the assay office's opinion on it would be. So I've just spoken to the London assay office to ask their advice and was told: that because the description of Tibetan silver contains the word 'silver' it would be an offense to describe it as this and would be a trades description issue. Even if it is well known within the jewellery trade that it only contains a small amount of silver and contains other metals, the average consumer would not know this. The person I spoke to at the assay office did say he would get a second opinion, so if there is any other info about it I will update this post.

                  I do really think it is important to describe things accurately and know that your products comply. There are a lot of websites and companies who sell things mislabelled and who aren't aware of some of the laws about nickel and buying from overseas, so it is important to check details like this and make sure you are doing the right thing. Or buy from a company you trust to give you accurate infomation.

                  Hope this is useful...

                  Hannah
                  Last edited by Kernowcraft; 03-12-2009, 02:37 PM.
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                  • #10
                    Hi Hannah,

                    Many thanks for the info. that's very interesting. So far I haven't used tibetan silver in my designs (sterling or bali in the main).

                    Tibetan seems cheap and alot of the charm designs are cute, so I can understand the attraction.

                    Is it best to avoid altogether or if the seller states that it could have certain metals in it; would that be sufficient when re-selling?

                    I only spent a pound so I'm happy to put in the bin to avoid any probs.

                    Sadie.
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                    • #11
                      I think the key thing that the guy at the assay office said was that it should not be sold in the UK as Tibetan Silver at all, as having the word silver in the description makes it an offense of trades description. It is a bit worrying companies in the UK are selling it as tibetan silver as its obviously causing some confusion about what it actually is. You would only be able to sell it described as 'white metal'. So if you do decide to use take this into consideration when you sell your designs.

                      If you need any more advice I would suggest phoning the assay office, they are extremely helpful. We deal with the London office, here is a link to their contact details on their website: http://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/contact/
                      WWW.KERNOWCRAFT.COM

                      Kernowcraft Rocks & Gems Ltd
                      Your Destination For Gemstones & Jewellery Making - Since 1967

                      For jewellery making advice, call our friendly team on 01872 573888

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gallimaufry View Post
                        Hi Hannah,

                        Many thanks for the info. that's very interesting. So far I haven't used tibetan silver in my designs (sterling or bali in the main).

                        Is it best to avoid altogether or if the seller states that it could have certain metals in it; would that be sufficient when re-selling?

                        I only spent a pound so I'm happy to put in the bin to avoid any probs.

                        Sadie.
                        Hi, I DO use 'tibetan silver' in many of my designs. I only buy findings from sellers that say that their stuff is nickel free, and I tell my buyers this if they ask. I also state that I have no way of actually checking the content of the findings myself and so have to take that on trust. So far, all my customers have been content with this explanation. A lot of nickel free stuff seems to be stated as being free from lead also.

                        My understanding is that 'tibetan silver' used to contain some silver a long long time ago, but now it is a generic term for a mix of silver coloured metals. It is a confusing term; as are the terms 'nickel silver' and 'german silver' (both of which are actually nickel and contain no silver).

                        I used to use more silver in my designs but now actually prefer tibetan silver for some applications. There is a huge and beautiful range of tibetan silver products out there, they are fun, they are generally cheap to buy and so are useful to experiment with, and they don't seem to tarnish like silver does.

                        I do still use silver for 'posh' stuff. But I find that tibetan silver greatly extends the range of things that I can make.
                        Elizabeth

                        www.elizabethcampbell.org.uk

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                        • #13
                          Hi,

                          Thank you Hannah and Elizabeth for your thoughts.

                          It's not easy ~ so much of what we buy from wholesalers and suppliers is based on trust. I've never really thought that are the rose quartz beads I buy actually rose quartz ~ I just trust my supplier as they tell me they are. The same with Swarovski pearls and crystals.

                          Thanks again, I've a lot to think about.
                          Sadie.
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                          • #14
                            This article is useful for those who want to know about the different types of Silver out there. http://ibeadmag.com/bali-silver-thai...he-difference/


                            Some Tibetan Silver can indeed contain lead, and you need to be very careful about this especially where children are concerned.

                            In China a lot of old computer parts and other disposable bit of of industrial equipment is used to make jewellery. Tibetan silver is an alloy, and will contain a mixture of metals. Try feeling the weight of the beads, if they feel quite heavy for their size, my guess is they contain lead
                            Allison
                            www.cardtoppers4crafts.com
                            www.epbeads.co.uk/freeguide

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                            • #15
                              Hi there

                              I have been using Tibetan Silver charms and beads since i started, and i checked to start with what sort of silver it was.

                              Tibetan Silver is Lead Free and Nickel Free and comply with all EU regulations - most sites say this on there if it is Tibetan and not something like silver tone which i believe is different.

                              I have not had any complaints of people coming out in a rash or any other allergic reaction, and have been selling earrings, pendants, charms and bracelets since July.

                              Hope that helps


                              Originally posted by Gallimaufry View Post
                              Hi, I've been making some pendants using silver plated pewter based dragonfly wing beads. I've bought some on ebay which are much cheaper, but are tibetan silver rather than silver plate (I bought them thinking they were silver plate and realised after they arrived that they were tibetan silver).

                              Does anyone know if tibetan silver contains lead? I'm a bit concerned about using it in my designs.

                              thanks,
                              Sadie.

                              Comment

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